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Once widely mocked, US beer is now popular globally with hipsters and connoisseurs alike. Why is the world buying in to the American brewing revolution?
Not so very long ago, American beer was a joke. And a weak one at that.
To international tastebuds, it meant bottled lagers like Budweiser, Miller or Coors - commonly regarded by self-respecting drinkers as bland, corporate and lacking in credibility.
An explosion in independently-run microbreweries producing lovingly-created, strong, pungent, flavour-rich ales has transformed the reputation of the product.
But it is not only traditional aficionados of ale who have been won over by this American revolution.
Somehow, beer from the United States has become not just widely respected, but achingly fashionable.
Visit a chrome-surfaced bar in London, Stockholm or Amsterdam and you're likely to find Brooklyn Lager, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Odell's porter on tap.
All are craft beers - a catch-all term defined by the American Brewers Association as the product of "small, independent and traditional" producers.
"There's a hipster cachet to it," says Melissa Cole, ale expert and author of Let Me Tell You About Beer. "Craft beer is seen as sexy right now, there's no doubt about it."
Fairly typical sort of article, but what on earth does this mean?
Do they mean the kegs are pasteurized and then carbonated with nitrogen / co2? What's wrong with that?These do not always qualify as "real ales" - a term popularised by British beer lovers when they launched the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) a generation ago in rebellion against the prevalence of mass-produced carbonated beers.
According to Camra, beer should be left to ferment "live" in casks.
Craft beer, by contrast, is often pasteurised in kegs with added nitrogen or carbon dioxide - a technique which makes traditionalists shudder.